Are you ready for a Siberian Husky?
This question has been asked and answered time and time again. And I might be the first person to honestly answer this; no – you aren’t.
Don’t take that as gospel, but I’m pretty confident in saying that answer applies to the 99%.
Only if you have extensive experience with similar Northern or high-maintenance breeds will you be even partly ready for the massive impact and change a Siberian Husky will have on your life.
Not being ready, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring a husky in to your life; it just means that you need to be prepared for a massive shock to the system. Provided that you understand the following information, and are willing to adapt your life to suit their needs, then you are as ready as can be to take on one of the most majestic animals our planet has to offer.
So why are Siberian Huskies so different?
The main reason that pretty much no-one is ready for a Siberian Husky is because they are about as far away from the ‘mainstream’ dog-breeds as you can imagine.
This often leads to a number of misinterpreted truths and general folktale about the breed overall.
Let’s get one thing straight, they are dogs. But they differ in that their evolution has been largely separated from that of other breeds and with only a very small sub-set of people. This means that some traits are just different – but not unmanageable.
What do I really need to know?
Siberian Huskies need a lot of exercise.
This will vary from dog-to-dog but there’s every-chance that you could end up with a high-energy Siberian Husky. A high-energy Siberian Husky could need at least 3 hours exercise a day and would benefit from being ran multiple times per week.
Siberian Huskies can not go off-lead.
This has forever been a hotly-debated topic, but the facts remain; Siberian Huskies are not good off-lead.
As pups, huskies can be very loyal, responsive to your commands and generally appear to be the perfect pet. However, as they mature, their need to run, hunt and generally play silly-buggers becomes unbearably more appealing than responding to your commands.
I have met with too many people who have said that their dog is different, that they hold the exception to the breed; only for them to appear in tears months later with their dog having been hit by traffic or shot by a farmer for worrying livestock – I don’t know about you, but I just cannot quantify the risk.
The off-lead debate is aimed at individuals in countries with relaxed off-lead laws and target those who may let their dogs off-lead in public spaces. Letting your Siberian Husky off in enclosed gardens, secure fields and dedicated dog-parks are all perfectly acceptable – provided they can’t escape, of course.
Siberian Huskies can not live with other animals.
Another topic that gets people chomping-at-the-bit. Siberian Huskies have an in-built want to hunt. Every dog is different, but there’s no telling when this urge will kick-in. The number of people who have has a husky and cat living together in harmony for years is very high – but the number of those who have one day arrived home to discover that the cat has become an appetiser is the unfortunate reality of mixing the breed with smaller non-canines.
Siberian Huskies are fussy eaters.
Not only are they fussy, but they’re also very efficient. Siberian Huskies can survive for days on very little, which means they’re quite happy to disregard the food you put down for them if they believe it to be sub-par.
Along with this, they are also prone to a number of allergies and intolerances; rice and general grain intolerances are common place. Many huskies may also suffer from zinc-deficiency, which is something you need to consider and research before deciding what you will feed your Siberian Husky.
To understand more, checkout our article on what to feed your Siberian Husky.
Siberian Huskies don’t like being alone.
The majority of huskies do not like being alone as they are a highly social breed. If everyone in your household works a constant 9-to-5, a Siberian Husky is not the breed for you.
Siberian Huskies also angst for the companionship of other dogs, and not just humans. Many owners find multiple-dog households with Siberian Huskies to be more harmonious in the long-run.
Siberian Huskies need to pull.
Online forums are full of questions along the lines of; ‘How do I stop my Husky pulling on walks?’ – I’ve got some bad news for you, you can’t. Or at least, not happily.
Pulling is what they have been bred to do, and have enjoyed doing for many hundreds of years – what makes anyone think they can undo this primal urge with a few puppy-training classes is beyond me.
Any equipment that can efficiently stop a husky pulling is only doing so through negative-enforcement and in my opinion, should only be used in circumstances whereby not having that control would be further detrimental to the dogs health – defending a mountain side, for example.
Have your say!
If there’s anything you feel we have missed in this article that should be at the forefront of a potential new Siberian Husky owners mind, please let us know in the comments below!